Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1993. Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment. Screenplay by Michael Crichton, David Koepp, based on the novel by Michael Crichton. Cinematography by Dean Cundey. Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Gerald R. Molen. Music by John Williams. Production Design by Rick Carter. Costume Design by Eric H. Sandberg, Sue Moore. Film Editing by Michael Kahn. Academy Awards 1993.
Sam Neill and Laura Dern are paleontologists who are invited to a remote Costa Rican island belonging to a billionaire (Richard Attenborough) to view his latest project. After years of digging up fossilized dinosaur bones, you could just imagine their surprise to find that Attenborough’s island is, thanks to some scientific wizardry, populated by living, breathing dinosaurs; the plans are to make it a theme park, and the insurance companies require there to be an endorsement by trained professionals before going ahead with the project. Joined by a mathematician (Jeff Goldblum) and Attenborough’s adorable nephew (Joseph Mazzello) and niece (Ariana Richards), Neill and Dern tour the park until something goes wrong: malfunctions in the system occur and the beasts are let out of their cages, leaving a group of people at the mercy of T-Rexes and vicious raptors. Sequels and ripoffs have abounded plenty from this marvelous disaster film, but none of them have been able to master the sense of wonder and excitement of the original. Acting is top-notch, the script (based very loosely on Michael Crichton’s original novel) is thorough and Steven Spielberg seems to have as marvelous a time directing it as you will watching it.